Thursday, April 25, 2013

the first interview

I promised I'd be back to report on our first interview with the adoption agency. My description in one word: EASY.

In several words:
We had to answer several questions (verbally) regarding whether or not we'd had trouble with drugs, alcohol, abusing others, and about our criminal records. Basically, we said "NO" several times. Then we were asked some of the following questions:

Are you open to a child/children with special needs. (This often involves very minor difficulties, like cleft pallet or a sickle-cell trait. We said we are open to it, and they said we can always decline on a case-by-case basis later...we have small children in our home so we have to make sure we can provide for everyone and give plenty of attention to all of them, so we will take this as it comes. Our case worker said if we decline a referral it doesn't put us on a bad list or anything; it just means that child wasn't a good fit for our family.)

What age range are you willing to adopt? I have heard and read a little bit about birth order and how an older child adoption can sometimes mess with the old child who is already in your family because they don't have the same "place" in the family they used to have. For example, Brody might no longer be the oldest child after an adoption. This is sometimes a very hard adjustment, but because our boys are still young it shouldn't be too big of a deal for them. So, we said we are open to ages 0-5, but our case worker said this home study makes it acceptable for us to accept any ages 0-5, but we will talk more with the Congo director to figure out a good fit for our family. And again, we can always look at it on a case-by-case basis.

Do you want a girl or boy? We said we are open to either.

Open to a sibling group? Yes, but the chances of this are very slim, coming from the Congo, and we are okay with that. We would just hate to see a group be split up when they could all be adopted together.

How is your relationship with your parents? Brothers/sisters?

What are your personal strengths and weaknesses?

What is your parenting style?

How do you see the addition of a child or children changing your family?

Describe a typical week day and a typical weekend.

What sort of spiritual guidance will you offer your children?

Who takes care of the kids while you're at work?

How do you handle stress?

How many hours do you work in a week?

If you were not able to adopt, would you get divorced? (WHAT? So weird...I had never thought of that as an issue, but apparently it is for some people. If that is the case, I strongly advise you to NOT adopt until you get your marriage figured out.)

Describe your kids.This was fun; we love talking about our kids.

In our first home study, we also had to describe our spouse and talk about what made us fall in love. I get so stupidly shy about that stuff. I would much rather write that down to save myself some embarrassment. It's hard to tell someone one of the first times you ever spoke was when you walked by your future husband, gestured to your face to indicate some sort of weird growth, and asked "What's this about?" (referring to the huge, bushy beard on his face). It wasn't the beard that made us fall in love, I assure you, but it seems to have played a role. Maybe it made me feel somewhat more confident in speaking to him because he had something ridiculous growing on his face.

Then we wrote a $700 check and discovered that in the next week or so we will be writing another one for $3,000. Yippee! At least we understand the concept of delayed gratification.

Our case worker also said we could expect it to take about 1-2 years, which in Lotz time means it will be about 2 weeks (or 5 years!). We learned that our agency now uses our first adoption as the "extreme" case when discussing expectations with newly-adopting parents, as in "It usually goes like this, but this one couple had to wait 5 weeks before leaving Kentucky and several months before terminating the birth parents' legal rights. But that was an extreme case."

Experience has taught us well, and we are mentally prepared and spiritually stronger than we were with our last adoption.